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LETTER: S-CAP Response for Finance and Administra​tion Committee

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Sept. 17, 2013.

Dear Mayor, City Councilors and Members of the Finance and Administration Committee:

We have seen the response of City staff to our submission to the Input Session for the 2014 City Budget in the “Request for Decision, Update on 2014 Public Budget Input Options” that will go to the Finance and Administration Committee at 4pm today. In response to our submission which pointed to the importance of maintaining funding support levels for the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) at the same levels as existed under the former provincial Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) City staff in Appendix B 1/5 recommend under action to be taken that “Council continues to advocate for the Province to maintain this funding. No budget option is recommended.” This means no funding is actually being recommended. There are major problems with what is being recommended by City Staff and this will hurt people living in poverty in Sudbury.
Firstly, but less importantly, we have seen no signs of the City asking for the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) to be restored. If there are letters or other examples of this please let us see them. If this has not been done since the June 18th meeting this needs to be undertaken as soon as possible.
Secondly, and much more importantly, by stating that no budgetary action will be taken this means that unless the CSUMB is actually restored, which at this point there are no signs of from the Liberal government, that there will be significant cuts to Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) funding in Sudbury in 2014. This is exactly what City administration and staff have been preparing for in their so-called CHPI ‘consultation’ with some social agencies in the city but not with people living in poverty themselves. These cuts will result in people living in poverty no longer being able to be housed, to move from unsafe or unhealthy environments, or to flee from violent and abusive relationships. The City has a clear responsibility to meet these needs of its most vulnerable residents. This will also mean that people in Sudbury will be able to access less resources than people in other municipalities across the province. Do people in Sudbury deserve less than elsewhere?  

We therefore strongly request that you not adopt this recommendation regarding our submission and instead have a broader discussion of adding City funding to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) later this fall. One way this can be accomplished is by moving our submission into those listed in Appendix A which will then be discussed by the relevant City committee. We also request that we be able to address the Finance and Administration Committee, other committees, and City Council itself when these matters are discussed. The needs and concerns of people living in poverty in Sudbury must be taken into account.

Yours sincerely,
Gary Kinsman, for the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty. 

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